"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Davidson makes it to quarter-finals in English Masters

Bromsgrove IBC hosted the SMPT English Masters this weekend and Hempnall’s Neil “Singles Specialist” Davidson was the top Norfolk performer making it through to the quarter-finals in the main competition. Drawn in Group 12 he began well with a 13-8 win against Sweden’s Ingvar Nelson followed by a 16-5 win against fellow Englishman Ray Young. An 8-8 draw against Essex bowler Nigel Reed in his third game was followed by a 10-8 defeat against Peter Roberts. A solid 15-7 win against Kirsty Hatch of Wales was enough to secure Davidson top spot in his group ahead of Nigel Reed on shots with both players level on points. Davidson’s first knock-out round match saw him up against one of the world’s top bowlers, Jonathan Payne of Belgium, and Davidson passed this stiff test in style winning 12-4. A tough match followed against England’s Ben Pay which Davidson won by 9-8 with his last bowl to claim a place in the last eight. That was to be as good as it got though as Martin Harries of Wales defeated Davidson by 16-7 in the quarter-finals. Simon Willies of East Tuddenham was in Group 17 and wins against Steve Buckett, Ryan Steadman, Arron Steadman and fellow Norfolk player Jack Marshall of Connaught were enough to earn Willies the runner-up position in the group and a place in the main knock-outs. Marshall, making his SMPT debut, earned two wins from his five games and qualified for the Plate knock-out stages. Jack Marshall faced Chris Coates in his next game and was beaten 20-10 but he will have gained much experience form the weekend. Simon Willies first opponent in the main knock-outs was Wymondham’s Jack Pye who started the day ranked number six in the SMPT World Rankings. Jack Pye had finished top of Group 8 with wins against Graham James, Peter Gordon & Paul Cairns and a draw against Chris Coates. Jack Pye will have started the match as favourite but the vastly experienced Simon Willies came out top on the day winning 12-10 to reach the last 16 where he lost by a narrow 8-6 margin against Steven Roberts. Joe Beattie of Northern Ireland won his fourth SMPT title when he became English Masters champion with a heavy 16-1 win against England’s Martin Simcock in the final. Martin Harries finished third with an 11-3 win against Ryan Knight. Cecil Dillon of Northern Ireland won the Plate Final beating John Manley of England 13-6. The Shield Final was an all England affair with Adam Easthope beating Tom Clough 12-7. The next SMPT events are the Welsh Grand Prix Pairs competitions on the 1st & 2nd April at Cardiff Bowling Club, the World 2 Bowl Masters at Belfast IBC on the 21st April and the World Masters on the 22nd & 23rd April also at Belfast IBC.

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